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GEN News Highlights : Dec 15, 2011

ReproCell Licenses hIPSC-Derived Hepatocyte Screening Platform

Hepatocytes reportedly express same metabolizing enzymes as primary liver cells.

ReproCell negotiated worldwide rights to commercialize a human-induced plurpotent stem cell (hIPSC)-derived hepatocyte drug-screening technology developed by the firm in collaboration with Japan’s National Institute of Biomedical Innovation.

The organizations have been working together since the beginning of the year to establish an in vitro screening platform for hepatic toxicity and liver metabolism that uses hIPSC-derived hepatocytes. ReproCell says the collaboration has led to the development of hepatocytes that express primary liver-cell levels of active metabolizing enzymes. The firm is currently evaluating the system in partnership with pharmaceutical companies and expects to launch the platform commercially during Q2 2012.

“We are pleased to see hIPSC-derived hepatocytes showing the highest level of quality ever seen, expressing the same qualities as that of primary human hepatocytes currently used by the pharmaceutical industry, including drug metabolizing enzyme activity,” comments Chikafumi Yokoyama, Ph.D., ReproCell CEO.

ReproCell specializes in the development of reagents for embryonic stem and iPS cell research and development, along with drug screening and toxicity testing using iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte and neural cells, primary cell development for drug screening, and assay services. The firm, in addition, offers flow cytometry services and ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells.